Claiming His Unknown Son
Reunited with the rugged billionaire...
For their son’s sake!
Their connection was so unique, their desire unmatched... Marisa was the first and last woman Roman Bardales proposed to, and her stark refusal turned his heart to stone. Now, years later, he’s finally discovered the lasting effects of their encounter: his son!
Devoted mother Marisa has always craved stability for her and her little boy. But Roman’s reappearance in their lives shakes her very foundations. For he’s not simply staking a claim to his child. He’s reawakening the longing she thought she’d never feel again...
USA TODAY Bestselling Author
“I want to see him.”
Roman’s brows met in a straight line above his dark eyes and he looked at Marisa as though she had just asked the most ridiculous question on earth. “Isn’t it obvious? He is my son!”
“Biologically, yes, he is your son,” she agreed. “But you’re not his father. It takes more than DNA to be that. What do you want, Roman? To hear him call you Daddy, or for him to appear in front of you on his best behavior once or twice a year?”
“I want...” He paused and then went on slowly, “You have robbed me of five years of his life, so I think you owe me this.”
“And if I say no?” She already knew the answer to that, and if she hadn’t, the expression in his liquid dark eyes and the ruthless smile on his face would have been confirmation.
Kim Lawrence lives on a farm in Anglesey with her university-lecturer husband, assorted pets who arrived as strays and never left, and sometimes one or both of her boomerang sons. When she’s not writing, she loves to be outdoors gardening or walking on one of the beaches for which the island is famous—along with being the place where Prince William and Catherine made their first home!
Books by Kim Lawrence
Surrendering to the Italian’s Command
A Ring to Secure His Crown
The Greek’s Ultimate Conquest
A Cinderella for the Desert King
A Wedding at the Italian’s Demand
A Passionate Night with the Greek
Spanish Secret Heirs
The Spaniard’s Surprise Love-Child
One Night to Wedding Vows
Visit the Author Profile page at Harlequin.com for more titles.
Claiming His Unknown Son
EXCERPT FROM A FORBIDDEN NIGHT WITH THE HOUSEKEEPER BY HEIDI RICE
The Madrigal Hotel’s assistant manager was a consummate professional accustomed to the idiosyncrasies of the rich and famous so his practised smile stayed painted in place, despite the sudden outburst from the woman in front of him. He was rarely surprised, but at that moment, as he braced himself for a diva meltdown, he was.
He prided himself on being able to tell at first glance which of their VIP guests were going to be hard work, but he hadn’t had this beautiful guest down as one of the awkward ones.
First impressions had certainly not given him any clues, as up to this point she had lived up to her public image. Her arrival had been low-key, as befitting the rarity she was said to be, someone not in the business of promoting herself, just good causes. People spoke about how freely she gave of her time and energy and her dedication in continuing to support the charities that she said were her late husband’s legacy.
The rare unfriendly pieces that appeared in the media he had always attributed to the hack’s frustration in not being able to find a story. You could see it from their point of view—they were used to being invited into the homes of the rich and famous, and Marisa Rayner never even gave them a glimpse behind closed doors.
There was still no meltdown forthcoming, but what was happening was even more alarming than a hissy fit. She hadn’t moved a muscle; she was just standing there like a pale frozen statue. What if she was ill?
He experienced a sudden flurry of panic as the question entered his thoughts, realising that would also explain the other-worldly, almost unfocused expression in her wide amber eyes when she’d removed her fashionable shades earlier, as he’d walked beside her through the hotel’s famous art deco doors. At the time he had put her pallor down to the lights from the glittering chandeliers overhead.
An ill guest was never good, but then he reasoned nobody who felt really ill would make such an effort to smile at all the staff she had encountered. At least, she had up until now.
The friendly, genuinely warm smile that charmed everyone it was aimed at was now totally absent as she stood on the threshold of one of their premiere suites looking as if she had seen a ghost.
He gave a philosophical shrug and waited. The Madrigal’s reputation had been built in part on the hotel’s ability to satisfy the most difficult of guests, especially when they had the money to pay the exorbitant prices the Madrigal charged for their premier luxury suites, and the lovely Marisa Rayner was one guest who could certainly afford it.
The fact she had been the sole beneficiary of her husband’s considerable estate after his death made her a natural target of envy. The story of the rich older man married to a very much younger woman was a magnet for the scandal-loving red tops. She could have gone through her life with a ‘gold-digger’ label attached to her, but the forensic dirt-digging exercises had come up empty-handed and she was considered a scandal-free zone—aside from a little guilt by association. But even her dead father, with his colourful history of affairs and a taste for high-stakes gambling, was nothing in this day and age.
No young lovers pre-or post-marriage—just a few malicious suggestions, which was par for the course, but they had faded away too after she had not morphed as predicted into a ‘merry widow’, but had remained a dedicated, hard-working one devoted to charitable works.
The adjective mostly attached to her name was classy